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R. Kelly, Keys Enter "Ali" Ring

Soundtrack slated for November 27th

November 7, 2001 12:00 AM ET

The soundtrack to Ali, starring Will Smith in the title roll, will feature new material from R. Kelly, Alicia Keys and Everlast.

Kelly, whose hit "I Believe I Can Fly" came from 1996's Space Jam soundtrack, contributed two new, Ali-inspired songs, "The World's Greatest," the album's leadoff track and first single, and "Hold On." Keys' appropriately titled "Fight" and "The Greatest" from former-boxer Everlast were also written with the Champ in mind.

The collection also features classic material from Aretha Franklin and Al Green, and more contemporary tracks from Bilal and Angie Stone, among others.

Ali, directed by Michael Mann and also starring Jamie Foxx and Jon Voight, hits theatres on Christmas day.

The complete track listing for the Ali soundtrack:

R. Kelly, "The World's Greatest"
Alicia Keys, "Fight"
R. Kelly, "Hold On"
Al Green featuring Booker T. and the MG's, "A Change is Gonna Come"
Aretha Franklin, "Ain't No Way"
Bilal, "Sometimes"
Angie Stone, "20 Dollars"
Truth Huts, "For Your Precious Love,"
David Elliot, "Bring It on Home to Me"
Everlast, "The Greatest"
Shawn Kane, "Mistreated"
Salif Keita, "Tomorrow"
The Watchtower Four, "All Along the Watchtower"
Martin Tillman, "Odessa"
Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke, "See the Sun"

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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